The Price Of Playing In The NFLNovember 19th, 2009
Not a whole lot of Bucs fans — except the diehards — will know who Dave Pear is.
Pear, a defensive lineman, was the Bucs first Pro Bowl player. He was one of the original Bucs.
Today, Pear is a shell of himself, a physical wreck wracked with chronic pain from the beating and abuse he took as an NFL lineman.
As documented by Doug Fernandes of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Pear is a walking example of how the NFL, filthy rich beyond any average person’s imagination, turns its backs on ex-players, as if they are human chattel. The same players who enabled NFL owners to become the billionaires they are today.
Pear said he’s spent more than $500,000 of his own money — more than he made during his career — on medical bills and prescription drugs.
The NFL, he said, ignores its own by failing to pay ex-players the disability payments they so desperately need, deserve and are owed.
“The NFL is delay, deny and hope we die,” Pear said. “We don’t want them to give us anything other than what they owe us.”
In Pear’s case, he wants the 25 years of benefits, plus penalty and interest, he believes were illegally withheld.
Joe cannot believe the NFL and the NFLPA cannot set aside, say, one percent of players’ gross salaries, matched by NFL owners, to be set aside to assist ex-players who are suffering from the physical beatings they took in their playing days.
Joe does know that if the NFL doesn’t start doing something, the feds will get involved.
Bucs fans who would like to connect with Pear can do so via his blog at DavePear.com.